Maintaining Relationships is Key to Building Business

By Kim Shindle | Aug. 14, 2023 | 5 min. read

Building and maintaining relationships is a key way Realtors® can continue to build their businesses, despite changing market conditions. Several PAR past presidents, with a combined total of nearly 300 years of experience, offer their thoughts on how to cultivate client relationships.

Connect With Your Sphere of Influence
“In my experience, this is the time to focus on the basics of your business, connect with your sphere of influence, past clients, friends and family. Talk to them about the changes or happenings in the market; it’s on the news every day, they will probably want to talk about their own house, investments that they may own or plans for the future,” said 2021 PAR President Christopher Raad.

Raad, who’s been in the business for 24 years, added, “I try to call or send a text to many of my past clients just to check in and give a subtle reminder that I am here to help any of their friends or family who may be looking to enter the market sometime soon.”

PAR First Vice President Bill Lublin concurs. In the business for 52 years, Lublin said, “Markets change, but fundamentals don’t. Keep building relationships with potential buyers and sellers, and maintain contact with your past clients, providing good information about the market and providing them with the answers to the questions they may have.”

Maintain Contact With Past Clients
After 33 years in the business, Bill McFalls Jr., 2019 PAR president, said he’s found that one thing people love to do on a daily basis is check their mailbox to see if they received any mail. “I mean the real kind of mail, hand addressed, in an envelope. That is why I continue to hand write a brief note to past clients on a relatively consistent basis to say hello and let them know that I am their contact for all things real estate. I have found this to be an effective way to maintain my business over my career,” he said.

PAR Treasurer David Dean, who’s been in real estate for 19 years, said, “Provide a service to a previous client that’s not intended to solicit a listing, but that they would find helpful and shows that you care. Too often we do things to solicit a listing or buyer when that isn’t what a client needs. Just doing an act for the sake of being of service I’ve found creates clients for life.”

Forty-nine-year real estate veteran Ellen Renish, who served as the 2002 PAR president, said, “Networking and always staying in touch with past clients is important and they’re a great source of present and future business. Keep in touch by sending holiday cards each year and via Facebook by sending messages for birthdays and other special events. You should also send real estate information of interest a few times a year.”

Bette McTamney, 2013 PAR president, said she was taught that past clients are incredibly important to building a successful business. “After 40 years in the business, I am 100% referral based and attribute that to all the people I have sold homes to in that time. One mistake a lot of Realtors® make is not keeping in touch with their biggest fans and those who trusted them most.”

She added, “When you acknowledge your buyers and sellers, not just with a thank you card or giving a gift after closing, but also staying in touch with them throughout the year, they never forget you. They will refer their parents, their children, their neighbors, their coworkers and just about anyone they know because they know you are professional and great at what you do. I have several clients who just keep on commenting every time I do business or mention it in the social media world, along with when seeing you do something real estate related. Never forget those who believe in you and refer others to you, especially family. Small gifts, handwritten notes or a phone call, birthday wishes, and just about any type of reach out will reward you with referrals for the rest of your career life.”

With 44 years experience, Greg Herb agrees the simplest and most basic activity for agents to build their businesses is to reach out to past clients.

Herb, who served as 2009 PAR President, said, “A check-in with past clients is a warm, welcoming call and typically spawns a conversation about the market. The call builds the client relationship, but many times also results in hearing or learning about someone in the market looking to buy or sell. For newer and even established agents, continual involvement in the communities you serve also creates activity. Whether serving on a non-profit, a charitable organization or service club, many times business becomes a result of your activities.”

Cultivate Relationships With Real Estate Professionals
No matter what one’s specialty is, maintaining good and friendly relationships with your competitors within your market is important to longevity in the business, according to Melissa Corman Sieg, 2005 PAR president. Corman Sieg, in the business for 40 years and works primarily in property management, said, “I have given and received referrals to appraisers, other property managers and Realtors® who specialize in sales. The willingness to share information to help each other be better has definitely fostered great working relationships with what I call my friendly competitors.”

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